12 String Classical Guitar

Choice of classical guitar strings and technical issues connected with their use.
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Sobers
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Re: 12 String Classical Guitar

Post by Sobers » Wed Jan 20, 2010 8:39 am

Hi everybody,

I think this link would be useful http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Extended-r ... cal_guitar

Sobers

billr

Re: 12 String Classical Guitar

Post by billr » Mon Aug 06, 2012 9:56 am

Two years ago I built a 6-course 12-string classical (now sold) and am starting to build a couple more. This is a nylon-string guitar, not a Gran.

I enjoy playing the 12-string as much as the 6-string, and find it particularly well suited to some baroque pieces I play - but also to some other types of music. It's a challenge to play well, because the fingerboard is no wider than on a 6-sting, so you can easily foul (i.e. sound or mute) adjacent strings and create unwanted noise. But the radiance of 6 courses tuned in unison makes it all very worthwhile. A complete description covering the concept, the sound, construction, playing considerations, etc. is on my web site at this link: http://6course.blogspot.ca/p/6-course-1 ... uitar.html

The back and sides are African Satinwood, and the soundboard is Sitka. As the photo shows, I used an unconventional, but simple method for handling the additional tuners, allowing standard tuners to be used, and allowing the guitar to fit in a standard guitar case. For more info on how the dual tuner pairs work, see my web site.
04 Aragón Back, Front, Tuners.jpg
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Last edited by billr on Mon Aug 06, 2012 2:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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GeoffB
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Re: 12 String Classical Guitar

Post by GeoffB » Mon Aug 06, 2012 11:34 am

Hi Bill, welcome to the forum. Could I invite you to introduce yourself here?

Geoff
Classical Guitar Forum.

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Sobers
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Re: 12 String Classical Guitar

Post by Sobers » Sun Aug 26, 2012 3:35 pm

Hello Billr,

Thanks for your post and the article on your blog. I read it. I am also very much interested in playing such an instrument. I guess you searched Google and saw this post on Delcamp and decided to write here .... that's really nice of you.
Thanks again.

By the way ........... do you have any video recording of this guitar? If yes please post it on YouTube and share the link with us.

Sobers

billr

Re: 12 String Classical Guitar

Post by billr » Fri Aug 31, 2012 6:27 am

Hello Sobers ... yes, that's exactly how I found this post on Delcamp. But I'm glad I did ! I had known about Delcamp for some time, but had hadn't gotten around to joining until recently. Sorry though, no videos that I can share. Just the audio tracks on my web site.

It's nice to hear though, from people who share my interest in playing a 12-string classical. I think the guitar world has been missing out on something interesting. Our "classical" guitar-playing forefathers and their followers in Italy and France moved to 6 strings in the years just before and after 1800, primarily to suit their need for clear articulation in playing bel canto music, which was the vogue of the day. In Spain, they made the migration a little later, although the poor people in Spain (essentially, those who played flamenco) had started to drop the second set of strings even earlier because they often couldn't afford a second set of strings. Many 12-stringed instruments were converted to 6 strings, and luthiers switched over to building what would sell. But unfortunately, as all this was happening, the 12-string guitar was totally abandoned as an instrument for "classical" music.

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Sobers
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Re: 12 String Classical Guitar

Post by Sobers » Sun Sep 02, 2012 8:34 am

I wonder .......... Where have all those guitars gone??

There were many isn't it? But how many baroque guitars or 6 course vihuelas are still there?
Also, may I ask you and also others to have a discussion upon this............ What is the future of these instruments? Also, how many composers are focusing upon this style?

billr

Re: 12 String Classical Guitar

Post by billr » Wed Sep 05, 2012 6:30 pm

I can't tell you much, Sobers, being no expert on the subject. But many of the 6-course 12-strings were converted to 6-strings in the late 1700's and early 1800's. These ones and also those which were not converted have, like other guitars of the day, mostly gone to dust. Those that survived are in museums or collections. You can see photos of some of these in books or on the net. In Felix Manzaneros collection in Madrid there is a 6-course 11-string (single-string chantarelle, i.e. high e string). Until recently, there was only one known surviving vihuela da mano, but I believe a couple of others have been found. But there are lots of modern-day reproductions of baroque guitars and vihuelas. I know of only 4 other 6-course 12-string classicals that have been made in the last 50 years or so.

As for the future, all I can say is that there has been and continues to be a lot of interest in playing renaissance and baroque music (from tablature) on period instruments (vihuelas, lutes, baroque guitars, etc.). Not so for the 6-course 12-string classical, which has been virtually forgotten. But being tuned just like our familiar 6-strings, it does not require any special compositions or arrangements. So composers don't really need to write new compositions for any of these instruments.

AlvarezBill

Re: 12 String Classical Guitar

Post by AlvarezBill » Fri Dec 27, 2013 4:55 am

I am building a 12-course classical guitar. About 10 years ago I had a stroke & lost the use of fingers 4 & 5 of my left hand, and I am right handed. With such a bothersome limitation I thought of a 10-string. However that innovation was for resonance, so why not add two more to allow pulgar-plucking? The arrangement I am making is basically identical to a 10-string, just a wider neck. The three flatted strings will be in the highest position because they will almost never be plucked. With the 7th string being low-C, I will have two additional open notes. I haven't decided which notes they will be. The nut will have a width of 4 inches, but of course I don't need to reach the last three. The top is Spruce, The back & sides will be Bubinga. The body will be oversized and the mahogany neck has an extra hard rosewood stiffener fitted into the middle like the ebony stiffener in some classical necks. The headstock will be inward sloping like a 10-string, just longer. Cheers, Bill

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George Crocket
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Re: 12 String Classical Guitar

Post by George Crocket » Fri Dec 27, 2013 8:01 am

Hi Bill.

Welcome to the forum. Could you please introduce yourself here.
George
2010 Stephen Eden spruce/cocobolo classical guitar
2012 Stephen Eden cedar/IRW classical guitar

hanredman
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Re: 12 String Classical Guitar

Post by hanredman » Fri Dec 27, 2013 2:07 pm

Attached some pictures of a 12-string classical guitar I built for a friend of mine.
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Joseph Redman
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Sobers
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Re: 12 String Classical Guitar

Post by Sobers » Thu Jan 23, 2014 2:34 pm

Hello AlvarezBill and hanredman...... thanks to both of you for your replies.
Can you please upload a video on YT and share the link on this thread..

Sobers

hanredman
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Re: 12 String Classical Guitar

Post by hanredman » Thu Jan 23, 2014 3:30 pm

I do not have any sound or video clips of this guitar. I will ask the owner if he could record something and send it to me.
Joseph Redman
Amateur Guitar Builder

Jordiebuchanan

Re: 12 String Classical Guitar

Post by Jordiebuchanan » Tue May 06, 2014 7:30 pm

I just bought a Tennessee double neck guitar with at 12 string classica and 4 string tenor. The 12 string is very buzzy but the tenor has had the night changed from wood to ivory and that appears to have made it better. I will be looking to change the 12 string nut as well. I have not played a 12 string classical before. I am guessing the tuning is the same as for a 12 string accoustic but if not maybe someone can let me know.

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George Crocket
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Re: 12 String Classical Guitar

Post by George Crocket » Tue May 06, 2014 9:45 pm

Hi Jordie.

Welcome to the forum. Please introduce yourself here.
George
2010 Stephen Eden spruce/cocobolo classical guitar
2012 Stephen Eden cedar/IRW classical guitar

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Aucaman
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Re: 12 String Classical Guitar

Post by Aucaman » Tue May 06, 2014 10:16 pm

The TIPLE (pronounced "tee-pleh") is a very popular 12 string instrument in Colombia. The metal strings are arranged in four orders of three strings each. The four orders are tuned like our guitar (E-B-G-D). The first three Es are tuned in unison. The middle string of the other three orders is tuned one octave lower than the other two.
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